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French students to get Linux CDs

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Many secondary schools students in the French region of Auvergne will receive CDs containing free and open source software when they return to school in September.

The project, which has been funded by the local government, will see 64,000 packs of CDs distributed to school pupils, according to Linux Arverne, a Linux user group involved in the initiative. The project aims to get students and their families more interested in free software.

Every student between the ages of 15 and 19 attending a school in Auvergne will be given a pack containing two CDs. The first CD contains free software for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, including the OpenOffice.org office productivity application, the Firefox browser and the GIMP image editing application. The second CD is a Linux Live CD, allowing pupils to try the open source operating system without installing it. The Live CD is based on Kaella, a French derivative of Knoppix.

The project has provided two CDs to make it easier for students to progress from a proprietary desktop, said Nicolas Spalinger, a member of Linux Arverne.

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